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World Climate Conference: Wireless network in WCCB needs upgrading

World Climate Conference : Wireless network in WCCB needs upgrading

The technology in the WCCB will be upgraded for the Climate Conference in November at a cost of around Euro 800,000.

The technology in the World Conference Centre Bonn needs licking into shape only two years after its opening. The wireless network does not meet the required standard. City spokesperson Monika Hörig said around Euro 800,000 needed to be invested. The network should be adapted in time for the start of the World Climate Conference COP 23 in November.

According to a private statement made by the administration, which has been seen by the General Anzeiger, the overall requirements for a high-performance wireless network have significantly increased since the installation of the current network in the WCCB. These include changes in technical standards to frequencies and data throughput and the number of appliances used by participants, such as Smartphones, tablets and laptops. This means the current 2.4 GHz frequency band will be changed to the faster 5 GHz band.

The city document also states: “The WCCB’s current wireless infrastructure is no longer powerful enough to meet this rapid technical development and the demands of WCCB clients, such as the UN, and must be upgraded.”

Contract awarded to Berlin IT company

The contract is to be awarded to the Berlin IT company globits. They installed the original network and the city has an IT service contract with them. The Federal Government will pay only 527,761 Euro for the wireless network. The city will have to pay the remainder of around 260,000 Euro.

It became clear before the opening of the new convention hall that the wireless network was inadequate, when hundreds of city employees simulated a convention in the WCCB as a form of stress test. There were also problems during previous conventions, such as the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Summit in February.

“Yes, it’s not a new problem,” confirms Michael Kleine-Hartlage, managing director of Bonn CC-Management GmbH. He could not comment on why the faster frequency band was not installed initially. The technology has been on the market for years. This was an issue for the city as owner.

The city responded to this question saying only: “The modifications required first came to light during business operations, especially during the large conferences held in the WCCB since the opening of the extension building in June 2015.”

Politicians are agreed that the wireless network must be brought up to the most powerful level possible before the start of the Climate Conference. However, many do not understand why this is only happening now and why available technology was apparently not included at the time. (Original text: Lisa Inhoffen. Translated by Kate Carey)